India and Bhutan: A Unique Bond Strengthened by Buddhism

Bhutan and India have long shared a unique bond of friendship, which continues to grow stronger each day. The role of Buddhism in fortifying this connection cannot be overstated. For Bhutan, India is not just a friend, but also the birthplace of Buddhism, a faith that promotes peace and compassion. To the people of Bhutan, India represents the land of eight sacred sites, with Bodh Gaya as the spiritual epicentre.

A lesser-known symbol of the enduring spiritual and cultural ties between these two nations is the Royal Bhutan Monastery in India. Constructed in 2003 under the auspices of the then-King of Bhutan, this monastery is located in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, and serves as a testament to the deep connection shared by these nations.

Featuring traditional Bhutanese architecture, the monastery houses a temple with a 7-foot tall statue of Lord Buddha, intricately adorned with Buddhist symbols and scriptures. The monastery’s activities include discourses on Buddha’s teachings, guided individual and group meditation, peace prayers, and temple offerings. Visitors can enjoy these experiences year-round, as the monastery remains open and requires no entry fee.

Additionally, the monastery offers a 15-room guesthouse for devotees. While there is no charge for staying in the guesthouse, a small voluntary donation is appreciated to help maintain its operations.

The Royal Bhutan Monastery attracts tourists from across the globe, drawn by its unique beauty and serene atmosphere. It is worth noting that Buddhism arrived in Bhutan from India in the 8th century BC, brought by the renowned Indian saint Swami Padmasambhava. Known as the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, Padmasambhava disseminated Buddha’s message throughout the Himalayan region, including Bhutan, Tibet, Mongolia, and beyond.

The existence of the Royal Bhutan Monastery not only serves as a spiritual haven for Buddhists but also has a positive impact on Indo-Bhutan relations. This sacred site exemplifies the mutual respect and cultural understanding that exists between the two countries. The monastery has become a platform for fostering diplomatic, cultural, and spiritual exchanges, further solidifying the bond between India and Bhutan. As a symbol of unity and collaboration, the Royal Bhutan Monastery contributes to the stability and harmony of the region, promoting a sense of shared heritage and values. This enduring relationship, grounded in mutual admiration, paves the way for continued cooperation and growth, benefiting both nations in various aspects, including trade, education, and tourism.

Related Posts